TYPE, a portrait series, questions the human construct of categorizing people based on their physical make-up or background. Our colonial past separated people of different backgrounds creating hierarchical class systems and unequal socio-economic levels. TYPE confronts this divisive belief by grouping people together who share the same blood type, resulting in diverse groups. These portraits defy the constructed notion that ‘purity of blood’ corresponds to ‘purity of nation, culture or race, thus, crushing systemic racism and unifying our evolving human race. In the 100 plus portraits produced, participants identify themselves and their ancestry to the best of their knowledge.
TYPE underscores and counters the long legacy of colonial racialization deeply rooted in phrenology and eugenics that is structurally embedded within societal assumptions of race and identity on multiple levels of institutional and popular racism in our everyday lives. TYPE references the blood type of the individual, with which one person from across racial and ethnic differences can save the life of another through their shared blood type. By foregrounding the image of the individual rather than their categorization, the artist confronts the viewer with the humanity of the subject, offering the near invisible impressions of identification inscribed below their portraits.
Alexandra Chang, Curator